As part of a series of roster moves, the Mariners announced that they’ve placed right-hander Felix Hernandez on the 10-day injured list with a strained pitching shoulder and selected the contract of righty Parker Markel from Triple-A Tacoma. The team has also recalled righty Dan Altavilla from Tacoma and optioned outfielder Braden Bishop.
The severity of Hernandez’s strain is unknown, but it’s the latest sign of deteriorating durability for the longtime workhorse, once a perennial 200-inning ace who hasn’t approached that mark since 2015. Hernandez devolved into a back-end starter the next season and hasn’t rebounded yet. After recording a career-worst 5.55 ERA/5.18 FIP in 2018, he’s at 6.52 and 5.30 in those categories through 38 2/3 innings this year – which could prove to be his last with the Mariners.
Hernandez’s injury created an opening for Markel, a 28-year-old who’s finally in position to make his major league debut eight years after the Rays selected him in the 39th round of the 2010 draft. Markel stuck with the Tampa Bay organization through 2016 and then signed with the Lotte Giants of the Korea Baseball Organization entering the 2017 campaign, though he asked the club to terminate his contract before he ever pitched for them.
Markel returned to action stateside last year at the Double-A level, where he pitched for independent Sioux City, before signing with the Mariners in the fall. He got off to a dominant start this season across the minors’ top two levels, combining for 35 strikeouts against seven walks and giving up just one earned run in 17 1/3 innings, to earn a big league promotion.